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Slate Blackcurrant Watermelon Strawberry Orange Banana Apple Emerald Chocolate Marble
Slate Blackcurrant Watermelon Strawberry Orange Banana Apple Emerald Chocolate Marble


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About LeMagnifique66

  • Birthday 07/15/1977


  • Skates
    Bauer Supreme TotalONE NXG
  • Stick
    Easton Mako
  • Gloves
    Bauer 4-Roll Pro
  • Helmet
    Bauer 4500 w/ Oakley Pro Straight
  • Pants
    Easton Stealth RS
  • Shoulder Pads
    CCM Crazy Light
  • Elbow Pads
    RBK 8K Pro (Jofa 9177)
  • Shin Pads
    Bauer Vapor APX
  • Hockey Bag
    Reebok Pro 32"

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  1. Product: Tackla 9000 Air Pants - Size: Large Tall - Color: Black Background: 6' 2", 180# - Forward Fit (9.5/10): Tackla's are unique fitting pants. (About the only others I can think of that are very similar are Graf.) They generally fit snug around the waist (almost to the point where you think they might be a little small) but then they are quite loose fitting from the waist down. (I've never worn a Kilt, but I imagine it must feel similar to that. LOL) Personally, I like the cut as the snug waist keeps them solidly in place without the need for suspenders yet the lose seat, thighs, and legs gives you complete freedom of movement on the ice. Protection (10/10): I am persuaded that Tackla pants are pretty much bomb proof. The first thing I do when buying ice pants is check the inside for gaps in the padding. The Tackla 9000 Air just doesn't seem to have any. Even the inner-thigh zippers and gussets are backed up with padding. Skate with confidence! Weight (9/10): This has to be a relative statement/measurement. While there are some ice pant manufacturers that have surpassed Tackla in weight reduction over the 9000 Air in recent years, these pants are still quite light for what they are. With the level of protection these pants provide and the almost "bulky" looseness, these pants should actually be a good bit heavier. So, with that in mind, I find these pants to be nice and light. Durability (10/10): See the first sentence under "Protection". Tackla doesn't use much in the way of stretch zones other than the crotch. (They don't have to as the pants are loose fitting.) So, you're dealing with heavy duty Nylon pretty much everywhere. I know people whom have grown out of their Tackla pants before they ever broke down on them. Based upon what I've experienced thus far, I expect mine to last several years. Intangibles: One of the first thing I noticed when actually gearing up in these is that the spine protection and kidney wrap is nice and snug to the body. Not only does this keep the protection where it needs to be, but it also keeps your jersey from tucking itself in while skating. (Not a huge problem, but I guess I'm just not a big fan of the Jagr/Malkin/Letang look.) I also find that even before opening up the leg zippers that these pants work well with the larger knee caps on my shin guards. Additionally, due to their roomy cut, these are one pair of pants that even guys can turn to a friend and ask, "Do these pants make my butt look big?" for a good locker room laugh. Conclusion (9.75/10): I think that young and old alike recognize Tackla's legacy. Seriously, not that I really get into such things (good gear is good gear no matter who makes it, in my opinion), but Tackla pants are almost like a "status symbol" out there. Not in an, "I buy the most expensive stuff that I can to try to mask the fact that I'm actually a pathetic bender." kind of way. But, in a Harley-Davidson kind of way. (Everyone who sees it knows what it is and that it's good.) These are a gem for sure.
  2. Product: Reebok 11K Pants - Size: Large - Color: Black Background: 6' 2", 180# - Forward Fit (9.5/10): The Reebok 11K is a very nice fitting ice pant. With its design (almost built like a girdle with a shell over top) the inner leg/thigh pad fit is customizable with an elastic Velcro strap system. This allows the pads to stay where they are needed, but yet not restrict movement. The pants tend to be streamlined - not too tight, but definitely not loose. There is plenty of stretch material throughout the crotch, seat, and inner-thighs to keep you mobile. The inner-leg zippers and gussets are also a nice touch for those (like myself) who use shinnies with larger knee caps. About the only negative to the fit is the interior belt. I know some folks may like the belt being closer to the body as opposed to on the outside of the pants. But, for me, the inner belt pad just creates a bump inside the pants that always pushes up my Under Armor shirt when I pull the pants on. (Slightly annoying.) These pants also feature a hidden zipper and gusset around the waist that allows taller folks (like me) to add one inch to the overall leg length without having to buy (a.k.a. hunt for) a size tall. Protection (9/10): As mentioned, the fit of the inner leg/thigh pads on these pants is customizable. Personally, I wear the inner leg padding somewhat snug. Due to the elastic closure and open inner-thigh, it doesn't restrict mobility and yet holds the pads solidly in place to keep the protection where it needs to be while playing. The only downside to the protection level of these pants that I have found is in the backside (literally). The extended spine protection is a little narrower than some other high level pants on the market (Tackla and Easton, to name two) which created a gap in coverage between it and the thigh pads in the back of the pants. While falling backwards on the ice seems to be about as common as the Cleveland Browns making it to the Super Bowl ( ;) ) it only takes once for you to realize that your butt cheeks and pelvis could use just a little more protection there. Every other aspect of the pants concerning protection is pretty much bullet proof and on par with the best pants on the market. Weight (6/10): Well, there is usually a downside and this happens to be it. No matter how you slice it, these pants are not light. I'm not just talking about compared to something like an Easton Stealth S19... No, the 11K pants are noticeably heavier than even "bulky fitting" pants such as Tackla in the same size. I recently visited my local shop and made a point of picking up every pair of top level ice pants on the rack. (Bauer Supreme TotalOne, Warrior Franchise, CCM U+ Pro, Tackla 9000 Air, Easton Stealth S19, etc.) The 11K pants were easily the heaviest of the bunch. Now, with that said, it's not like we're talking about wearing a suit of iron here. All current model pants are lighter than what we used to have "back in the day". For the amount of protection (and the double construction) involved with these pants, the weight could be worse. Durability (10/10): I have had these pants since summer '11 and you can barely tell they have even been used. Seriously, I don't think they even have a scratch on them yet. The nylon they are using along the outside legs is definitely heavy grade. It also has a bit of a different texture to it that I think may mask board marks/burns somewhat. Intangibles: Well, they're Reebok. It seems as though most folks I am around wear RBK jerseys for both play and practice. For those who like their gear to match, these pants are a no-brainer and definitely seem to "flow" well with the Edge jersey cut. (Personally, I couldn't care less about such things. But, for some, it's darn near as important as anything else.) One thing that is missing is a little "lace swag" around the waist (like on the 7Ks). I had to snake an old 120 through the belt channel to correct this gross oversight. (LOL) Conclusion (8/10): Overall I do recommend these pants to anyone looking for high level protection and a good fit. If Reebok were to make the tailbone pad a bit wider and shave some overall weight off, these would be close to perfect pants.
  3. Product: CCM U+ Crazy Light Skates - Senior 8.5 D Background: 6' 2", 180# - Forward Fit (10/10): I found the CL to be one of the most comfortable skates out-of-the-box that I've ever tried on. I credit this to the skates being loaded with a ton of reactive foam and the fact that the boots are not "pre-molded" in any way. (By contrast, my previous skates were from the Bauer Supreme line. Obviously, they have an agressively shaped/contoured heel pocket right out of the box. This either fits you or it doesn't. Baking obviously helps, but, again, out-of-the-box a pre-formed boot/quarter is a love/hate proposition.) It is really after the bake that these skates shine, however. They are truly the most reactive/moldable skates I've ever used. Not only does the foam inside of the boots mold to you, but the boots themselves do. I could literally see the side walls above the heel/below the ankle on the outside of the boot go from straight to contoured (to the shape of MY ankle bone etc.) once the skates were laced up post-bake and "smoothed" around my feet by the hands of the shop employee. As someone who has had ankle-immobilizing braces (SMOs) custom made for me from casts of my own feet/ankles by a specialized company (Hanger Prosthetics & Orthotics), I can tell you that the CCM U+ CL skates are the closest thing you will find to having a skate (or shoe) custom made for your feet short of actually having them made from a mold of your feet/ankles (the way many NHL players do). Blade/Holder (9/10): The E-Pro holders are solid and the scalloped blades that come stock with the CLs perform well enough. I generally run a 5/8" hollow (sometimes shallower) and the blades hold that edge well. (I've gone as long as a month without sharpening, but I do touch up with a Sweet Stick once a week or so. Mind you, my main rink ice is on the softer side.) I have not tried, or even sharpened, the Rocket Runners that came extra with the skates. So, I can not comment on them. The main negative, to me, would be that the E-Pro just isn't as "sexy looking" as the Bauer Tuuk. I must say that I have always preferred the Bauer Tuuk of all holders for "agility". This is likely only in the stock 9' radius of the blade and not necessarily the actual design/height/specs of the holders. I just seem to be able to turn tighter... especially in pivots and transitions with a little less blade on the ice. (Bauer stock blade radius being 9' while the CCM comes stock with a 10' radius.) Of course, as I have aged, my body is no longer as "agile" as it once was and I am actually finding that the slightly longer radius on the CCM is giving me a bit better balance over my old Bauer skates. (So, I likely shouldn't complain.) I haven't timed myself, but I also "feel" as though I may be a bit faster in straight-aways. Turning tighter is just an excersize in pressing harder into the ice with my legs/edges than I had to with Bauer skates (Tuuk w/ 9' blade radius). For what it's worth, I have removed the runners a couple of times to clean out some spot rust and everything seems solid there. No screw/nut stripping and everything still holds nice and snug. Weight/Protection (8.5/10): While not the lightest skate on the market, these are the lightest "pro level" skate that I have used. For the amount of foam inside and the level of stiffness of the boots, it really is a surprise that they are as light as they are. The Surlyn quarters are quite stiff, the same as the surface of a golf ball. Still, I have felt a puck or two through them. They are certainly more protective than an old school stitched boot. But, if you want the ultimate, I would still recommend a Skate Fender type product over top. Durability (10/10): I have had these skates since their release this past spring. Aside from hockey & stick time sessions, I also just skate in them as often as I can. So far, the boots still seem as stiff as the day that I bought them. Normally, that wouldn't be something I would consider to be a good thing. But, in this case, it is excellent. This is because it is really the inner-foams that contour and allow for the forward flex and ankle mobility needed to skate. The boot itself just stays solid and doesn't break down. Intangibles: Though I already touched upon it, without question the moldability of these skates is the key feature. I happen to have a leg length discrepancy (1/2" difference) and use a heel lift in my left shoe. Ordinarily, I advocate placing a shim between boot and holder for such issues. But, with these skates running a bit wider than most, I elected to try an internal lift to keep the outside of the skates clean. We put the lift inside the skate (under the footbed) after baking and then laced up in the shop. You can actually see that the ankle swells on the left boot are about 1/2" higher on the left skate than the right. With any other skate, I'm not sure that this could have been accomodated so well. Conclusion (9.5/10): Overall, the CCM U+ CL is an excellent skate. I truly believe that it has put CCM back on the map. (Personally, I haven't really liked a CCM skate offering since the late 80's / early 90's Tacks.) I have toyed with the notion of outfitting them with Tuuk holders or re-profiling the blades to a 9' radius. But, they actually perform well enough stock that I just can't justify being without them long enough to do the modification(s). I can actually see myself buying another pair and having that work done then. I can't say as I've ever owned a skate before these that I actually wanted to snag another pair so quickly. That's a testement just right there. I know that if folks give these skates a serious try, they will like what they find.
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